It was before some of our retreats in this last year. I wasn't nervous about the retreats themselves, but I developed some anxiety about not sleeping well before the retreat - and also having to get up a bit earlier than normal. It's kind of like that nervousness before an early flight. Perhaps the flight itself is not the worry, but the early wake-up and the great need for a good night's sleep is causing some anxiety. Argh! It's so ridiculous! But it also scared the crap out of me because for awhile, I wasn't shaking this sleep anxiety, which, of course, just led to future anxiety. Maybe some of you can relate.
So today - out of my now undying compassion and empathy for all of you who experience any sleep anxiety - I wanted to share...
3 things that have helped me have delicious sleep again:
1. PRETENDING THAT I CAN SLEEP IN UNTIL 11 AM.
Ha! I feel silly even writing this out. But I swear, this "pretending" has helped me THE MOST. Now, even if I know I have to get up early, here's how I do it: I just lay there in bed and think about how delicious it will be to sleep in - and more importantly, I envision myself the next day, barely waking up at 11 AM, feeling so fully rested and safe and cozy, with not a stress in the world and no deadlines, after having THE most deeply, restful sleep of my life.....
And bam! As I think of that vision, I am in love with sleep! I am in love with coziness! I am in heaven in my bed and as restful and stress-free as I could imagine! I am as relaxed and heavy as I could possibly be! There is no messing with my imagination, apparently, because whenever I do this, sleep overcomes me with no delay.
2. ROMAN CHAMOMILE ESSENTIAL OIL.
If you google tips for sleep, essential oils will make a grand appearance. Many people swear by Lavender. Others recommend Cedarwood. I tried both of them and actually LOVE the scent of both, but the truth is, these didn't help me to sleep. But then I tried Roman Chamomile.....AND IT SMELLS LIKE A DELICIOUS BABY!!!!! It's actually used regularly in baby products as it's one of the most gentle oils. And somehow, this scent just did it for me. I rub a bit on my forehead and temples and the scent helps me feel as snugly, safe and cared for as a sleeping baby. It's dreamy. (This is the one I currently have.)
3. EYE MASK.
I had never really worn an eye-mask until this last year (aside from red-eye travel on planes and trains). But now, I love the ritual of wearing one. The extra darkness just seems to be a trigger that it's time to get cozy and relax. And it also brings on a feeling of safety - knowing that the next day I can sleep until I need to, regardless of how early the sun comes up. I'm still using an old eye mask from American Airlines (ha), but I have my eyes on one of these pure silk ones as I'm convinced my face would be in heaven.
So there you have it.
Friends, do you have any rituals that lead to delicious sleep?
P.S. The top photo represents every morning of the last year. Imagine 3 doggies stampeding up to my room every morning at 6:00 am and sandwiching me tightly until we all decide to get up. It was heavenly. But...our doggie trainer said that this ritual needed to end immediately as the dogs need their independence. Dang it!!!! It was good while it lasted. So now, we're all adjusting and somehow, surviving. :)
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